Bob Lefsetz doesn’t like the new Microsoft ad either

I shared my thoughts about the new MSFT ad over the weekend.

I subscribe to Bob Lefsetz “letters” and got this one today.

He nailed it.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Bob Lefsetz <>
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 15:33:31 -0400
To: Bijan Sabet <>
Subject: Laptop Hunters

Stop lying.

The Web has a zillion sleuths just waiting to be activated, like that worm on your computer delineated on “60 Minutes” last night (PC-only, in fact), in order to verify the veracity of your statements.

Latest example?

Microsoft’s new “Laptop Hunters” TV campaign, in which an uber-attractive girl professes she’s not cool enough to buy an Apple laptop and goes for a cheaper Windows machine.

Within moments, it was revealed that “Lauren” was not an average person, but a member of SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) recruited from Craigslist

Then, it was revealed that the computer she purchased was an old model with bad reviews

Then a Mac user offered to GIVE HER his own Apple PowerBook so she could see what she was missing.

In other words, if you think you can pull the wool over the public’s eyes, with your lame excuse denying the truth, you’re wrong.  The twenty first century is about transparency.  Reveal the facts, admit the truth and move on.  People today know life is complicated, mistakes and failures are part of the game.

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Microsoft’s goes on the offensive… with a really bad ad

Microsoft has a new ad that is getting a lot of attention.

The punchline: Microsoft Windows laptops are cheaper than Macs.

The ad is a reflection of Steve Ballmer’s line last week:

“The economy is helpful,” Ballmer said at a conference today in New York. “Paying an extra $500 for a computer with a[n Apple] logo on it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in this economy.”

I think the ad is odd and misguided:

1 – Instead of building a better OS and suite of products they focus on price. They should be a bit embarrasessed they don’t have an answer to iLife (iphoto, itunes, imovie, idvd, .mac, etc). Focus on products not price.

2 – Are we gonna see ads that say that Microsoft Windows Mobile powered phones are cheaper than iphones? Would that matter?

3 – How much is Microsoft Office again? Do they really want to talk about price? I just bought a new Mac for our home. It’s the first Mac I’ve ever bought that doesn’t have once piece of MSFT software. We are using a combination of Google Docs and Apple iWork ($50) for our home needs. I’m sure I’m not alone.

Even though I use Macs, I am a fan of Microsoft for many reasons. They make a bunch of great products. And I’ve got a lot of super smart, talented friends that work there.

But this ad doesn’t shine a light on the right stuff.

The previous “I’m a PC” microsoft ads were so much better.

* * *

another related thought: it wasn’t that long ago when Macs were considered toys and the Microsoft pitch was functionality (true multithreaded OS, better apps – ie Office, flexible hardware & enterprise support). Now the pitch is initial price. something to think about.

Oh help me, please doctor, I’m damaged
There’s a pain where there once was a heart
It’s sleepin, it’s a beatin’
Can’t ya please tear it out, and preserve it
Right there in that jar?

Dear Doctor – The Rolling Stones

Jailbreaking MacOS

I was at the local Apple store yesterday with a friend of mine.

We were looking at a bunch of stuff and my friend said that he was really impressed with the Dell Mini 9. I can see why. It’s 2.5lbs, battery life is 4 hours and its less than $250.

But the kicker? Users have figured out a way to install MacOS X on these low cost computers.

While we were at the store another Apple customer was checking out a Macbook. He had an iphone in his hand but said that he was happy with his netbook running MacOS. My brother also has MacOS working on his Lenovo.

It’s pretty clear what’s happening here.

The users are in taking over. They are essentially “jailbreaking” MacOS and getting it to run on their own hardware.

* * *

These low cost netbooks are popping up everywhere. I read on Techmeme this morning that Verizon is going to introduce a subsidized netbook with a bundled data service plan.

At some point I’m guessing we are going to see really low cost PCs designed to fit nicely in your living room. The MacMini is great but still too expensive for most folks.

But if Dell can make a netbook for $250 then I’m convinced they can build a MacMini equivalent for under $250.

Or someone else will.

Yeah! Oh Yeah ! – Tracey Thorn & Jens Lekman

I got an advanced copy of the upcoming album “Score: 20 Years Of Merge Records”. It’s a fantastic collection Merge artists covering great tunes. I love this song. Original by the Magnetic Fields.